As it is Sunday, I want to tell you again something about my life, something a little bit more private and today definitely something that made me reflect on my friendships and the way I have gone in life.
I had a friend from my school time. He was actually a few years older and went to a higher class but we, and also my best friend and him, became friends. He moved to Europe and settled there. When I went to Europe, I visited him in his home.
You can say we were friends but we were not very close. As there were not many common points of interest, we slowly lost touch. From time to time, we still had communication but I felt that when I turned away from religion, the warmth of our relation disappeared. At a later point, when it was clear that my opinions absolutely didn't match his and when I even didn't believe in god anymore, we stopped even the last rest of contact we had had.
A close friend however remained friends with him and I sometimes got to hear when he had been in Vrindavan and had met my friend.
That’s how, quite a while ago already, I heard that they had talked about me as well. And that this man, who had been a former friend, had told my friend he thought I had always done everything only for business. My work as a preacher, my whole time in the cave, everything was, in his eyes, only for me to earn money. He told he had never believed that I was religious, that I had always been an atheist and that I only now announced it because I thought it would bring me more money.
I couldn't believe it and at the same time felt like laughing! To hear this from a person who should know better! In that time, when I went into the cave and before, I was one of the most religious and most devoted people! I honestly believed in all of this and only like that I could spend three years isolated only doing mantra meditation. If I had done this for money, I would have gone crazy a few months in! Only strong faith can make you do this kind of crazy things!
And what did I get from becoming atheist? To be honest, from a financial point of view I would have been an idiot to give up my belief in religion and God and with that a well-established business and many followers! Had I really thought of the money all the time, I would have gone on with what I was doing as a guru even though I didn't believe in it anymore.
In the end, I believe it shows what this former friend really thinks of religion: that people believe and are active in religion only for business, only as a drama. Maybe it also shows his own attitude towards religion – or does he want to say that everyone else is doing it wrong, only he is doing it correctly?
I will write more about this religious egoism tomorrow. For today, let only this be said: neither me being religious nor my turn to atheism had anything to do with money!